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World court hearings on Japanese whaling draw to an end

JIJI, Kyodo

The world court on Tuesday concluded hearings on a case brought by Australia to stop Japan’s research whaling in the Antarctic .

This is the first case at the International Court of Justice involving Japan as a litigant. The Hague-based U.N. court is expected to hand down a ruling by the end of the year at the earliest.

At the center of contention is whether Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic is scientific within the rules based on the International Whaling Commission treaty.

Australia argues that the whaling is actually for commercial purposes and therefore violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

At the final session on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Koji Tsuruoka argued that the purpose of the whaling is legitimate scientific research to obtain information that might help allow the IWC to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling.

The ICJ trial began June 26 and sessions have been held on 11 separate days.

New Zealand, which has joined forces with Australia against Japan, also expressed views critical of Tokyo’s stance.

  • nanka

    This is all and only about Japan government’s pride: while common Japanese people don’t like whale meat (it really has a strong taste) and the warehouses are full of unsellable whale meat, government really wants back to commercial whale hunt? For what? For that one single whale restaurant in Shibuya, allways empty and closing already at 2pm, only visited by some spare tourists who want to try it out for once? Japanese gov makes itself a big lough in it’s own country! But they are so brave, standing their ground in the face of this mean world!

    • KM, Tokyo

      One whale restaurant?
      Thats a joke. Im a vegetarian and yet Ive been two two separate whale restaurants with friends, neither one of which is in Shibuya. I know of at least a dozen others.

      Ive also tasted it myself (despite not eating any significant amount of meat since I was 17, I thought I should try it just so I could say I had tried it). The taste was actually quite pleasant, and it didnt give me diarrhoea like I get if I accidentally eat beef or pork.

      Its pretty clear that whaling opponents are prepared to tell whatever lies, break whatever laws, and compromise whatever principles they need to in order to “get their way”. The constant, transparent lies that get told about the issue demonstrate clearly that these “crusaders” care nothing at all for truth, consistent logic, or moral behaviour.

      While I do sympathise with the IDEA of putting an end to whaling, the tactics and (lack of) morals of the anti-whalers make it impossible for me to support their stance. Until Australia bans beef, pork, mutton, veal and ‘roo, theyve got no business attacking Japan for whaling.

      • L. Wagenseil

        I thought it was all about whale research?

  • 常光 渋谷

    The source of the whaling report by foreign media is based on a former green peace activist’s female journalist, and not almost all foreigners have the exact information on the whale meat consumption in Japan.

    The culture which eats a whale in the district in Japan remains.

    Moreover, whale food is also manufactured.

    • L. Wagenseil

      What exactly is a “former green peace activist’s female journalist” and why does that matter? Whaling needs to be totally banned as does dolphin killings and captivity. These are intelligent beings!

  • Yvon Godefroid

    Sorry, but I do not understand. Is whaling a scientific research or a sacred tradition ? Both arguments were used during this trial by whalers. Science is never a tradtion. And a tradition is never a science. Moreover, what we ask to scince now, it’s to explin us the sophisticated cultures (“Kaluchua”, a concept found by Kinji Imanishi) of cetaceans, not the content of their stomachs.
    How popular all around the world would Japan become if one day its Government gave up with whaling and dolphins slaughters ! How numeroous would be the tourists, eager to discover Mikura’s or Toshima’s happy wild dolphins !

    • 常光 渋谷

      I am sorry, I cannot understand your sophism.

      Japanese people never claim “Scientific research whaling is tradition.”

      IWC has already promised resumption of whaling.

      Research whaling is required because of resumption of whaling.